AfDB Invests in First Private Sector Project in Côte d’Ivoire in over a Decade with €58m toll Bridge Loan

07/03/2012
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The African Development Bank‘s (AfDB) Board of Directors has approved a €58 million loan (equivalent to FCFA 38 billion) towards the financing of the construction, operation and maintenance of the 1.9 km-long Henri Konan Bédié Toll Bridge to be built over the Ébrié lagoon in Abidjan, in what will be the Bank’s first private sector operation in the country in more than a decade. Today’s Board approval marks AfDB’s strong commitment to lead and actively contribute to Côte d’Ivoire’s reconstruction efforts following the decade-long political conflict that adversely affected the country’s essential infrastructure.

In addition to providing financial support, the Bank is the mandated lead arranger for the transaction and is playing a leading and honest broker role in structuring and negotiating the transaction between the sponsor, other lenders and investors, and the Government.

The project is expected to make a significant contribution to the country’s economic recovery by improving basic infrastructure, relieving chronic traffic congestion and compensating for the planned temporary closure of the Houphouet-Boigny bridge, one of the two currently existing bridges crossing the lagoon, while it undergoes major structural repairs and upgrading works.

The project has a total cost of €270 million and will be financed by a combination of debt and equity to be provided by a group of development finance institutions a commercial bank, an infrastructure fund, the sponsor, and the Government under the AfDB’s lead arranger mandate. The project is structured as a public-private partnership and will be implemented under a 30-year Build-Operate-Transfer concession agreement by the Bouygues Group, a french construction and concession conglomerate and the project sponsor.